Given the long list of possible causes of nasal congestion, it can sometimes be quite challenging to figure out the exact cause in each particular case. I spend a lot of time with my patients asking questions that can help me narrow down the possible causes. And when combined with the examination findings, we can often get a much better idea of the cause and possible treatment options available. As a specialty trained sinus and nasal specialist, I carefully examine my patient's nasal and sinus cavities utilizing a simple diagnostic procedure called a diagnostic nasal endoscopy. First we place low-reactive safe topical spray into the nose to provide a numbing effect and decongest the nasal tissue. And then a small rigid scope attached to a state-of-the-art camera is carefully guided into the nasal cavity and sinuses. The entire exam lasts only a few minutes, depending on the findings. And it gives me an abundance of information with minimal discomfort to the patient. With the specialized exam, I can tell if the patient has anatomical issues causing the congestion like the deviated septum or inferior turbinate hypertrophy we talked about. We can also diagnose inflammation, infection, polyps. It's a crucial portion of the exam and all the findings are recorded to play back and share with my patients so they can have a better understanding of what's going on and what treatment options are available. This is really the cornerstone to figuring out what the problems are and formulating an accurate diagnosis and individualized treatment plan in the vast majority of cases, and it allows us to assess the response to treatments being used as well.
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